Off to the seasonal section of beers, to walk down ever so slowly and look every beer make them want to give me their secrets even before I get one home. Unfortunately beer can’t talk but to those who know how, can get them to speak and low and behold one talks Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter off the shelf and into brown paper bag to be a part of something big.
This beer is special and I will tell you why the brewers aged it in oak whiskey barrels for at least 180 days. The result is vanilla notes from the oak and soft whiskey warmth that pair beautifully with any dessert involving vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. No worries for the more in depth beer drinkers for you guys the brewers break down Hop bitterness 85 IBU, specialty malts 120l caramel, black chocolate, Hops are warrior, Northern brewers, Cascade and last but not least yeast. Which is a combination of two stains.
Down the hatch pours a rich and dark. If it's not completely black it may as well be because there are no hues and no edges. A thick creamy head of mocha colored foam graces the beer and lasts. Leaves lace and plenty of bubbles to linger on top.
Nose is deep roast. It has a soft breadiness with a caramel backing. The beer also has some bright dark fruits, and a sweet bit of chocolate. There is a powerful vanilla on the nose but as fragrant as it is it does not dominate.
Taste is supple and full roast. Chocolate and a bit of nuttiness greet the palate. There's a surprisingly bright dark fruit. This malt is substantial and faintly acrid. There is smoothness to the flavors form the vanilla which is light on the palate. Creamy full mouth feels with a touch of its weight from alcohol. The alcohol is a light warmth as this one finishes bitter with an only a small measure of the sweetness to linger. At 9.20 ABV it is a heavy beer.
Over all this beer has my yes to the check list of porters and stouts, the only thing is with this beer being seasonal it comes around whenever it pleases and leaves unexpected. I would have this beer with steak but that’s just me. I will leave you with this. Gonzo is big, bold, and beautiful like the man Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.